Police: Man steals patrol car, school bus in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man who allegedly stole a California Highway Patrol car, drove it onto a college campus and used it to commandeer a school bus was arrested Friday after students on the bus jumped him, authorities and witnesses said.
The 35-year-old Vallejo man was taken into custody by Sacramento police.
A CHP officer was investigating a two-car crash on Highway 50 at about 12:30 p.m. when one driver jumped into the patrol car and drove off, the agency reported.
The thief drove the cruiser to California State University, Sacramento, where he used it to pull over a bus containing 10 student government participants from San Joaquin Delta College.
The bus driver, Mary Speck, thought the man was an officer.
“He got a little aggressive and he demanded that I get out of the bus now, so he jumped in and took off with my bus,” Speck told KTXL-TV.
The man drove the bus off campus and onto Avenue J, where authorities managed to pull him over.
“When he stopped one of the guys grabbed him and choked him. When he choked him, I just started hitting him, took the keys, turned it off and threw the car in park,” San Joaquin Delta College student Marsha Fernando told the station.
The students fled while bystanders held the bus doors closed so the suspect couldn’t escape.
The bus passengers were passing through Sacramento State on their way to a student-government retreat at Lake Tahoe, Delta College officials told KCRA-TV.
“We are relieved that there were no injuries, and we are thankful for the brave actions of our students in reportedly subduing the driver,” said a college email to the station. “We are also thankful for the prompt response of law enforcement.”